Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or ABS

Bell plastics does lots of ABS fabrication. Questions please give us a call. 510 – 784 – 1111 We also work with many other plastics, aluminum and steel.

ABS fabrication, watch with acrylic crystal

The top is clear acrylic machined and polished.  Bottom is two pieces of ABS vacuum formed and welded together.

Extruded Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or ABS sheet

ABS sheets are incredibly tough; it is also easy to cut, machine, bent and vacuum formed. It’s used for everything from machine parts to our pet ramps to product packaging. Even the keyboard I’m typing on is ABS along with the computer housing.

 Utility Extruded ABS – “Off the shelf”

Extruded ABS sheets only comes in black and white, 4 X 8 foot sheets. Thicknesses are from .032 to .375. It is textured on one side and is smooth on the other side. The textured side is the finished side. The smooth side is not very smooth and can come with scratches, pits, dimples and can be a different color than the texture side. Further more the back color changes when the sheet is heated. This is because ABS sheets are a virgin cap 10% to 30% depending on brand and thickness and recycled materials 70 to 90%.

Some manufacturers are selling a recycled ABS sheet without a virgin cap. It comes in a variety of black colors all on the same sheet.

Virgin or GP (general purpose) Extruded Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or GP ABS sheet

Virgin ABS is getting harder and harder to find. Most white ABS is a virgin product because it is too hard to keep the color right if you are using a regrind mix.

LINK to Vacuum Forming Page

Custom colors and sheets

Other than black and white all colors are custom made to order. With custom colors you also get the option of made the sheets any size you need. Instead of 48 X 96 you get 26 X 52 inch sheets if you want. A 26 X 52 inch sheet is 10.11 square feet a 48 X 96 inch sheet is 32 square feet. You will save 21.88 square feet per part of scrap. The catch is you will need to buy 2,000 to 3,000 lbs. of material even more if you need FR ABS. Custom colors also cost more than black.

Because we have a few customers that have agreed to use the same color 1/4 inch yellow we stock it all year. However do to it being a “custom color” it cost twice the cost of black ABS.

Mechanical or cast ABS 3/8 and over

Mechanical ABS .375 and thicker is made differently than thinner ABS. Because it is cast instead of extruded and in much smaller quantities, the price per pound goes way up. Off the shelf colors are natural that looks like coffee with cream and black. Furthermore cast ABS never has a texture finish.

3/8 ABS comes in both extruded and mechanical.

ABS fabrication, machined and welded

ABS machined, glued and welded.

ABS fabrication, extra larger oil skimmer

This skimmer is ABS. It is vacuum-formed, welded, and glued.

It also has aluminum that we sheared, punched and silk screened.

You can’t see it but it also has a foam core to prevent sinking.

Flame retardant ABS.

Meet UL 94-v0. It is heaver than regular ABS. It is harder to find flame retardant ABS in stock.

More ABS fabrication

Working with ABS

You can vacuum form it, thermo form it, machine it manually or with CNC mills and lathes. It also bends, glues, stamps, welds and rotational molds. Finally you don’t need special drill bits to drill ABS.

ABS fabrication, gold sluice with yellow rock bars

This ABS part are made by vacuum forming a flat sheet, we designed and built the tooling in house.

ABS fabrication

We make machine covers and guards, boxes and displays from it.

ABS fabrication, Bent, ABS, dust shoot for Unisaw table saw.

Table saw chip shoot.

 ABS Fabrication – Bending

Bell Plastics solves problems. Such as; our table saw’s vacuum system was not working properly. After we designed and bent an ABS shoot to re-direct the chips the problem was solved. The new shoot, guilds the dust and chips from the blade into the dust collector’s vacuum hose.  Because they work so good we started selling them on eBay.  Can we do the same for you?

ABS fabrication, dust shoot inside Unisaw table saw

Chip shoot installed

ABS Fabrication, ABS glued together

Six pieces glued together. We had to injection mold the three color. Cut them to size and glue them together.

Thickness MM Thickness Decinal Thickness Inches Weight 12 X 12 Weight 48 X 96
.75MM .032 1/32 .178 5.69
.040 .222 7.122
1.5MM .0625 1/16 .348 11.128
.080 .445 14.244
2.25MM .093 3/32 .517 16.558
3.0MM .125 1/8 .696 22.257
4.5MM .1875 3/16 1.043 33.385
6.0MM .250 1/4 1.395 44.513
9.0MM .375 3/8 2.087 66.770

ABS heat deflection temperature is 210°F. Specific Gravity 1.08